On Loving God

by St. Bernard of Clairvaux


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Summary

What is love? In his text On Loving God, St. Bernard surveys the four types of love that Christians experience as they grow in their relationship with God: loving one's self, selfish love, loving God as God, and loving one's self in God. St. Bernard reminds us that not only did God give us life, but He gave us Himself. For indeed, "God deserves to be loved very much, yea, boundlessly, because He loved us first, He infinite and we nothing, loved us, miserable sinners, with a love so great and so free." St. Bernard reminds us that we are indebted to God for his love and His sacrifice. Not only should we love God because it is what He deserves, but also because loving God does not go without reward. Loving God is to our advantage. The Lord rewards those who love Him with the blessed state of the heavenly Fatherland, where sorrow and sadness cannot enter. St. Bernard's medieval prose is poetic and full of clever imagery. His work is as beautiful as it is knowledgeable.

Emmalon Davis
CCEL Staff Writer
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About St. Bernard of Clairvaux
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St. Bernard of Clairvaux
Source: Wikipedia
Source: Wikipedia
Born: 1090
Died: August 21, 1153, Clairvaux, France
Related topics: Bernard,--of Clairvaux, Saint,--1090 or 91-1153, Biography, Catholic Church, Christian saints, Early works
Basic information: Bernard of Clairvaux, O. Cist (1090 – August 20, 1153) was a French abbot and the primary builder of the reforming Cistercian order. After the death of his mother, Bernard sought admission into the Cistercian order. Three years later, he was sent to found a new abbey at an isolated clearing in a glen known as the Val d'Absinthe, about 15 km southeast of Bar-sur-Aube. According to tradition, Bernard founded the monastery on 25 June 1115, naming it Claire Vallée, which evolved into Clairvaux.
Popular works: On Loving God, Some Letters of Saint Bernard, Abbot of Clairvaux

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